Dr. Catherine Reynolds shares tips for taking care of your mental health in an era of social distancing

Listen above from tips from Dr. Catherine Reynolds on taking care of your mental health in an era of social distancing.

Here is a sneak peak from her upcoming blog post:

DO something to manage your stress:
The current state of our world leaves many of us paralyzed with anxiety. With so many REAL things to stress about, and a lack of healthy coping skills, many of us resort to unhealthy ways of coping (i.e., substances, food, shopping, screens, etc). One way to disrupt this process is to schedule time to actually do something about your anxiety. These activities can include journaling about your thoughts and feelings, making a list of your stressors and prioritizing what needs to be done first, listening to music that matches your mood state, use of prayer/meditation, reading self help books, taking a bubble bath, making music, cooking, practicing gratitude, and the list goes on. The goal here is to find activities that leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Once you find those activities, practice them Every. Single. Day.

Develop a new routine:
Routines are important because they create a connection of neural pathways in our brains. Once those connections have been made and are maintained, our brain recognizes them as a familiar pattern and reacts instinctively–freeing our mental energy to be directed elsewhere. Similar to driving a car. When many of us drive, we don’t consciously think through every single step involved in driving. When developing a routine, make it consistent yet flexible enough to account for unplanned events to occur. Additionally, don’t forget to schedule in some much needed quiet time for your family so that your brain has a chance to decompress and download all of the stimuli it’s been accumulating throughout the day.